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Engine dies. Lights flickering.

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Old 11 Dec 2016, 03:40 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 59
Default Engine dies. Lights flickering.

2008 Base model. 88k 5 speed. Ambient temperature around 15 f. NO CODES

New to me PT has what appears to be a widespread problem (per the internet). Most of the time car runs like a top. No issues.

Out of the blue the car simply dies. Loud pop through the speakers, lights go nuts. Engine is dead. Cycle key, engine compression starts, runs rough, quits. Cycle key again, starts runs like new. Twice in same trip.

Go to start car last night, battery weak, throw on the charger and call it a night. This AM Battery fully charged. Hook up my centech scanner, it shows 12.5v to the computer. Car starts right up. So I start twisting nobs and pushing buttons, when I realize the headlights are flickering. What the heck! Check the voltage to the computer, its now 5.1v dash lit up like a christmas tree. Running poorly. Shut off engine, leave key in ignition, try restart, no go, high beam indicator will not go off, but lights are off. Get out and check voltage with a volt meter. 5.1 v.

Good grief what could possibly have sucked that much juice out of the battery without starting a fire somewhere.

No smoke so i figure I'll put on the battery charger and see what happens. Charger NOT plugged in. I connect ground first, then positive. As I do so there is a pretty good spark from the battery to the clamp of the charger. Well I'm thinking this is weird for 5v so I recheck with VM and guess what, 12.1 v. Car starts right up like nothing happened.

Key points seem to be the voltage reads 5.1v at computer and the battery. Something somewhere is shorting power . Sparking the battery seems to have stopped it. Relay perhaps?

Does anyone have a final solution?

On a side note thank goodness Chrysler does not make airplanes!


Last edited by JohnPT; 11 Dec 2016 at 03:52 pm.
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Old 11 Dec 2016, 03:59 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,331
Default Re: Engine dies. Lights flickering.

I would suggest doing a battery load test with the battery in the PT Cruiser if possible. This will tell you if the battery and charging system is okay.

Low battery voltage can cause modules not to work properly including the TIPM.
If at First You Don't Succeed - Try, Try Again
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Old 11 Dec 2016, 04:01 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 59
Default Re: Engine dies. Lights flickering.

Thanks. Its on my list of possible issues!
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Old 18 Dec 2016, 11:46 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 59
Default Re: Engine dies. Lights flickering.

Added a new wally world battery and crimped new ends to the positive cables, cleaned up some grounds and the car now seems to run great. Time will tell. j
ptcruisersteve and chuzz like this.
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engine quits, lights flickering, no start

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